‘Our Thoughts…’

Viking Views Editors-in-Chief offer insight on social media

'Our Thoughts...'

Unlike other teens, I wish technology would slow down for good, or at least for a little while. As much fun as it sounds to get famous on TikTok, style my wardrobe as a VSCO girl and even become Instagram famous, who has the time?
I certainly do not — between college applications, school work, sports and trying to keep up with my social life, it is normally a quick glance through insta and a few snaps or texts to my friends. This idea that, in order to be involved in society, we have to keep up with the latest trends of technology is exhausting. Whatever happened to just calling up a friend on the phone and saying, “Hey, I miss you. We should hang out.”
Nowadays, it seems that if you leave a Snapchat on “delivered” for even an hour the friendship is over or in deep jeopardy. I love my friends, and I love the fact that I can keep up with my loved ones who are not near on social media, but I do not feel that I need to see 1200 pictures of them on the daily just so we can keep in contact.
I miss the days when papers were written on good old-fashioned notebook paper in class and college applications were sent in by mail. I understand that the world is progressing and that technology is on the upswing, but I think it is important to remember that our lives cannot be centered around it. There is a whole world out there besides what is on the screen in front of you.

Technology has been my life for as long as I can remember. From when I first made a YouTube account in second grade, to when I built my first custom computer in sixth grade, my introverted personality and deep curiosity has always paired well with the Internet.
This continues today, as I spend almost every waking moment of my life attached to the Internet in some way. The Internet is beneficial: it is how I keep up with the global news and how I find the latest and greatest music; however, my love of sites like Reddit and apps like Spotify have not clouded my views on the negative sides of technology.
For years, I compulsively browsed Instagram and sent Snapchat streaks every chance I could get, until I recently realized how pointless those platforms are. Instagram and Snapchat psychologically condition you to continue using their platforms, and ever since I got rid of Instagram and stopped sending Snapchats, I have become a much happier person.
My life away from social media feels like I have broken the chains of incarceration, and my mental health has benefited significantly. I would much rather call my friends or hang out with them in person instead of compulsively worrying about whether or not they have opened my snap yet. So while it’s always nice to watch a funny YouTube video or listen to music on Spotify, the complexities of Internet use must be understood.

Being the youngest in my family, I have experienced every form of social media that has been around since the beginning of the century. It was not until 2010 that social media started to affect my life. My older sister and her friends were all getting Instagram, and I wanted to be just like them, so I also got it.
As time went on I started getting advertisements. First Snapchat, then Twitter and Pinterest…the list goes on forever. As this decade comes to a close, I can include myself as one of the guilty teenagers who spends a lot of time on social media. A majority of my closest friends live in Cleveland, and the one-hour drive makes it difficult to see them.
Being able to use these forms of social media to connect with my friends has allowed our friendships to only grow stronger. Experiencing the downsides to social media is draining both physically and emotionally, but it has helped me grow as a person for the better throughout my life.